The mayor, the city council, and voters of Austin, Texas, have spoken, says Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday. They don’t want any sort of proactive law enforcement, so APD officers should stop, reports local Fox 7.
“They don’t want an active police department. They don’t want us enforcing traffic laws. They don’t want us arresting people that don’t want us or messing with homeless folks. They’re very clear and we’re going to take their lead. The productivity in the city’s going to die,” Casaday said.
As the polls closed Tuesday, and Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore conceded to challenger Jose Garza, Casaday said he and his members realized the community may not support law enforcement as much as they used to.
“The public just voted to put in someone to the district attorney’s office that ran on prosecuting police and not prosecuting drug crimes, or hardly any other crimes, so that spoke very loud and clear what the citizens of Travis County want,” said Casaday.
Travis County voters handed Democratic primary victories to Delia Garza for county attorney and Jose Garza for district attorney. Both campaigned on variations on the theme of stopping enforcement of lower-level non-violent crimes. The latter Garza promised to hand every shooting involving police officers to grand juries, whether the facts suggest it is warranted in the specific cases or not. The former has announced her intention to drop all charges against protesters, some of whom have committed property damage and attacked APD officers over the course of the past several weeks. For its part, the city council has cut APD’s budget by $11.3 million.
In practical terms, should Casaday’s suggestion carry forth, homeless tent cities will continue springing up across the city. Mopac, the highway that runs north and south through the heart of Austin, will not have speed limits enforced by APD. When traffic is light, it will become the Austin Autobahn, so accidents are likely to rise. Petty crimes and property crimes can be expected to increase once criminals learn that police will not enforce or investigate them unless they are specifically called to do so.
For the record, Police Chief Brian Manley and Mayor Steve Adler say they expect nothing to change with regard to active enforcement. Manley, at least, still has credibility with the police rank-and-file. Several city council members have called on him to resign for doing his job. Mayor Adler has yet to demonstrate that he ever listens to police or understands how to govern a city. The homeless tent cities have sprung up on his watch, bringing more petty crime and urban blight along with them.
The decay of Austin will likely proceed apace.
One very practical effect of electing the two Democratic nominees in November will regard immigration enforcement; Austin is already a sanctuary city.